Adapted by Anita Sullivan from the book by Gavin Mortimer
. . . The story of Channel swimmer Gertrude Ederle and the summer of 1926 when the world caught 'Channelitis'.
The nineteen-year old American lived in an era of prohibition, war-debt, flapper-girl scandals and the post-war assertion of women's rights. But women were still regarded as physically unable to compete with men or engage in endurance sports. Could one of the five female athletes attempting to cross The Channel that summer really succeed? What would happen if they did? And what would be the price of failure?
In the roaring twenties the world was changing at an electric pace. In science, commerce and art, everything seemed possible and the challenges were there to be confronted. By 1926, only five men had ever conquered the English Channel, and the race to become the first woman to swim the Channel captivated two continents. Many doubted that a woman could do it.
Gertrude Ederle, a brilliant young swimmer, was the 19-year-old daughter of a German migrant to the United States. Her father Henry Ederle ran a successful butcher's business in New York. Ederle's cross-channel swim was sponsored by the New York Daily News.
The News sent a crime reporter, Julia Harpman, to accompany the swimmer and cover the story and this drama is told through Julia's eyes.
Recorded at Aire Edel London and on location in The English Channel.
Julia Harpman....Madeleine Potter
Trudy Ederle....Emily Bruni
Lillian Cannon....Samantha Dakin
Bill Burgess/Rutherford....Philip Jackson
Arthur Sorensen....Nathan Nolan
Joe Costa/Frank Pegler/Williams....Sam Dale
Henry "Pop" Ederle/Abbot....Nathan Osgood
Sound design: David Thomas
Producer/director: Karen Rose
A Sweet Talk production
1 September 2010
THE GREAT SWIM
Voted one of the best books of 2008 by The Sunday Times.
Author Gavin Mortimer
. . .is a best-selling author, historian and journalist whose versatile narrative non-fiction books have been published in Britain and the United States.
Interview: Live Audio WAMC Midday Magazine (aired 7/29/08)
Albany, NY – Katie Britton speaks with historian Gavin Mortimer about his book "The Great Swim."
. . .an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in five events. In 1926, she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Among other nicknames, the press sometimes called her "Queen of the Waves."
Julia Harpman was a capable newspaper woman, covering a murder mystery for the New York News, when she met another capable reporter, Westbrook Pegler, on the same assignment. They were married 33 years ago. His career as one of the nation s best commentators, first in sports and later In politics, has been in part a tribute to her Inspiration and affectionate guidance. An ailing heart, which had made her life a constant gamble for some years, caused her death Tuesday in Rome. Her endearing ties will be mourned by all of her husband's former colleagues on THE TRIBUNE.